United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2007 NY Rulings > NY N012701 - NY N012784 > NY N012736

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY N012736

June 19, 2007

MAR-2 RR:E:NC:N3:351


Jack Garbow
Material Motion, Inc.
203 Rio Circle
Decatur, GA 30030


Dear Mr. Garbow:

This is in response to your letter dated June 13, 2007, requesting a ruling on the marking for feed bags imported empty. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review, but photos of a marked bag and the proposed marking were submitted. No country of origin was specified.

You state that you import woven polypropylene bags from foreign manufacturers to sell to domestic and Canadian companies that fill the bags with their bulk feed products. The bags appear to be the kind commonly seen in grocery and feed stores filled with dry, flowable animal feed. The picture you submitted is a bag for 50 lbs. of cattle feed.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the feed bags is the company that will fill it and sell the feed.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the bags by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual bags would be excepted from marking under this provision.

Section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

Accordingly, marking the container in which the bags are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser, that is, the feed company, in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported bags provided the port director is satisfied that the article will remain in the marked container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

You state that you would like to add your company’s name to the marking of each bag. That label would include your logo and read

Meeting requirements of
Guaranteed by


By itself, this label, which contains no country or other locality information, ia acceptable. Additionally, you state that your customers typically request that you print their identifying information on the bags. The pictured bag is marked

ALMA, GA 31510

Because a U.S. reference appears on the imported bags when they are imported into the U.S., it is necessary to consider the necessity for additional marking. Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," Product of," or other words of similar meaning. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent the possibility of misleading or deceiving the ultimate purchaser of an article as to the actual origin of the imported good.

CBP has recently determined that the special requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 should not be applied automatically to all imported articles or their containers which bear a non-origin geographical reference. In instances where the imported article is substantially transformed in the U.S. by the ultimate purchaser (U.S. manufacturer), as with the imported bags in this case, Customs has held that the special requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 are not applicable since the ultimate purchaser would not be misled by the U.S. reference.

This rationale applies to this case. The U.S. manufacturer, the feed company, which substantially transforms, that is, fills, the imported bags is the ultimate purchaser. Assuming the ultimate purchaser receives the imported bags in containers properly marked with the country of origin, it would know the country of origin of the imported bags and would not be misled by the U.S. reference "Alma, GA." Therefore, the special marking requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 are not applicable.

Accordingly, the imported bags that are processed in the manner described above are not required to be individually marked with the country of origin and can be imported marked with a U.S. reference provided they are imported in containers properly marked with the country of origin and that the imported bags will reach the ultimate purchaser (he feed company) in the original marked containers and the feed company will only use the imported bags as described above.

Regarding the feed company’s information, marking the bag with a U.S. reference such as “Alma, GA” is allowable, assuming that the feed itself is not the growth or product of a foreign country.

However, you state that you also have customers in Canada. The question of marking the bag with a U.S. reference is more properly directed to Canadian Customs. We suggest you call either 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 or contact a Canadian Customs district office on the Internet at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-e.html.

Your letter does not request a classification ruling and does not contain enough information for us to issue one. If you would like a classification ruling, please resubmit your request with a sample of the bag as imported.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling